I wrote here about a case I had with HM Revenue and Customs some time ago. Amidst being set on a course which would lead to a tribunal and feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the whole process, I withdrew from the fray at the end of July 2014, and thereby admitted defeat. Nearly twenty two months later I have summoned up the, dare I call it, “courage” to make a complaint. So I posted the letter last friday.
I do believe firmly that Christians is called to be subject to the governing authorities (Rom. 13:1a) and pay taxes (see Rom. 13:6-7). Therefore we are not to be rebellious and disobedient to the authorities. However, I have made the complaint for two reasons:
- I still don’t know how my tax should be sorted out for other years. and so there is an issue of truth here. Also I don’t want the issue left for someone else to sort out should I pass away.
- There is an issue of Love your neighbour as yourself (Matt. 22:39b). I do not want others to go through what I went through. I want HMRC to learn something of the harmful effects that can ensue from the way they treat people.
I must say I mention those two things conscious that I have a deceitful heart that tends towards wanting revenge. Oh Lord save me from that and keep my motives pure.
The whole experience has, I trust, given me an insight into three things.
- The need to listen. A substantial part of the frustration over this issue has been a feeling that people are just not listening to what I say. This challenges me to make sure I don’t make responses to others until I have fully listened.
- When you are badly treated by “the authorities”, and probably anyone else, there is this feeling of wanting to prove that you are on the side of truth. I have an innate feeling that chasing issues only harms those who do the chasing and in the end consumes the chaser. However, I can feel for those like the Hillsborough families who want to chase the truth in the face of continual obfuscation and cover-up.
- I feel for those who cannot cope with dealing with “the authorities” and leave those brown envelopes unopened because they just can’t cope. I received a brown envelope recently, for example, the contents of which started to send me into a mild panic. This was the hangover from my experiences in 2013/14, I believe that having brought that envelope before the Lord, He graciously gave me some peace.
I will see how it all goes now. I feel vulnerable of once again exposing myself to the might of “the authorities”. I pray to the Lord that I will be able to handle whatever the response is.